Siemens Communications will be the first vendor to bring an end-to-end solution for “High Speed Downlink Packet Access” (HSDPA) to market, complete with PC card. This UMTS extension will enable operators to significantly boost data rates in UMTS networks and provide their subscribers with average download speeds of up to 2 to 3 megabits per second. That roughly corresponds to what the fastest DSL connections are currently capable of offering. In January 2005, Siemens will be conducting the first live demonstrations with a HSDPA network.
Field tests will begin with mobile operators in Japan and Europe in second quarter 2005. The HSDPA solution from Siemens, comprising network equipment and HSDPA PC cards, will be available for commercial operation beginning from the fourth quarter of 2005.
“With the early availability of our HSDPA solution, we will be putting UMTS mobile operators in pole position: They’ll be the first in the market to be able to offer average download speeds of up to 2 to 3 megabits per second,” said Christoph Caselitz, President of Mobile Networks at Siemens Communications. “This turbo data service will be a crucial buying criterion, first and foremost on the part of business users. The first providers to have this service in their portfolios will be able to reap the highest margins.”
All that Siemens customers will need in order to integrate HSDPA into an existing UMTS network will be a software update. The reason: Since 2002, Siemens has been delivering only HSDPA-capable UMTS base stations. This means that with only minimal additional investments, UMTS operators will be able to provide high added value to a lucrative customer segment, business users. They typically need to wirelessly download very large volumes of data to their notebooks while they’re out and about, and they value the kind of features that only HSDPA, of all the wireless broadband technologies, can offer: Roaming and high data security.
HSDPA allows more users than before to be provided simultaneously with higher data rates. This means that the existing frequency band is better utilized and the costs per bit reduced. Mobile operators can thus improve their margins with increased traffic in the networks.
With the end-to-end HSDPA solution, Siemens will further expand its position as a leading vendor in the 3G sector. Today, one out of every two commercial UMTS networks worldwide comes from Siemens and its technology partner NEC; this represents coverage for 90 percent of all 3G subscribers worldwide.
High Speed Downlink Packet Access involves a modulation mode that affords theoretical downlink data rates of up to 14 Mbit/s, a theoretical value under laboratory conditions. In actual practice, though, downlink rates per subscriber will still range between 2 and 3 megabits per second. HSDPA is an element of Release 5 of the WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiplex) specifications. This new UMTS performance feature contains a transfer format called “high-speed downlink shared channel.” Its fundamental principle: More data users can be supplied at a higher data rate on the downlink channel; i.e. greater volumes of data can be transported significantly faster from the mobile network to the subscriber’s device. This optimized transport channel and the employment of new modulation methods boost maximum transfer rates and minimize delay times. Consumers will notice HSDPA in the form of a significantly better quality of service. Performance will be considerably improved, for example, in connection with downloads, Internet access or access to enterprise networks.
Siemens Communications is one of the largest players in the global telecommunications industry. Siemens is the only provider in the market that offers its customers a full-range portfolio, from devices for end users to complex network infrastructures for enterprises and carriers as well as related services. Siemens Communications is the world’s innovation leader in convergent technologies, products and services for wireless, fixed and enterprise networks. It is the largest Group within Siemens and operates in more than 160 countries around the world. In fiscal 2003 (year-end September 30), its 60,000-strong workforce posted sales of about 17 billion euros